The book of Revelation has been the most
neglected book in the Bible, probably next to Leviticus. It has been used as a
manuscript for Hollywood for many satanic movies like the Exorcist. This is
based on the pre-tribulation view which takes the book of Revelation and makes
it a chronological book. This is a very erroneous view since the book of
Revelation is anything but chronological. They also tend to make the modern
nation of Israel the center of Revelation but that is also very erroneous and is
cultic. The Bible, from cover to cover, is about the Lord Jesus Christ and the
redemptive history of man.
(Psa 40:7 KJV) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
(Heb 10:7 KJV) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
The book of Revelation is given in the Bible by God to be understood and not to be some type of esoteric mystery. Revelation is the culmination of the entire Bible and has to do with the time period from the first coming of Christ to the return of Christ. We will see that much of Revelation uses parallel imagery to bring the Gospel message and a scenario of the end time. Satan has always been the sworn enemy of the church and of every individual Christian. We will see in Revelation, many parallelisms which represent Satan’s attack on the church and also the second coming as He overtakes the church. We will also see how the “Abomination of Desolation” appears in the churches right before the end of time, when the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way because the day of salvation has come to an end. The time that Satan has victory in the churches is but a small time and that happens right before the Lord Jesus Christ returns in great glory as we shall see in quite a number of passages. No one is saying that Revelation is an easy book to understand but when approached in the correct manner, we will see plainly how many of these “hard sayings” become clear and delivers a message.
Revelation uses massive imagery and symbolism. We will see that the 144,000 in Revelation 7 & 14 are totally symbolic. We will also see that the number of the beast 666 is also symbolic. 666 has been taught that an Antichrist is going to rise and will be identified with 666 on his forehead or arms. However, the Greek teaches that 666 is the number of man and not “a” man as so many prophecy moguls have led us to believe.
As long as we put out of our minds these wild prophecy books we have all read, we will approach Revelation with a clear mind and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us, we will see Revelation in a manner as we never have before and we will not run from it. The same God who gave us Colossians and Philippians also gave us Revelation. Revelation was written about 95 AD during the reign of Emperor Domitian. John was exiled to Patmos which was a slave colony, so it was anything but a country club. It is here where John experienced the vision of Revelation as given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ through an angel showing John, and us, “the things which must shortly come to pass.”
One of the main characteristics of the book
of Revelation is that it is a book built upon parallel visions with each
subsequent one more intense and progressively revealing more information.
They are as follows:
John's first vision was Chapters 4-7 - We
read that the judgments affect one fourth of the earth.
The second parallel vision is Chapters 8-11 - There we read about one third of the earth being affected. This means that the second vision is parallel to the first but it showing an intensifying of the judgments.
The third parallel vision is chapters 12-14 - ends in the reaping of the earth
The fourth vision is chapters 15-16 which contains the vial judgments which affect the whole earth (1/4>1/3>to whole earth) and ends with Armageddon which is the final battle between Christ and Satan.
The fifth vision is chapters 17-18 which is the destruction of the kingdom of Satan.
The sixth vision is chapters 19-20 which details the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the final judgment of the unsaved.
The seventh vision is chapters 21-22 which is the New Heaven and the New Earth.
Each vision is complete in itself as we progress in the book of Revelation we are seeing that the judgments become more surgical and intense until we come to the last day. The book of Revelation, teaches in apocalyptic imagery, the time between the first and second coming of Christ. It details the intensification of the judgments on the unsaved while the Gospel continues to go forth as it is being darkened by false gospels (Rev. 8:8-13). We must be very careful when dealing with apocalyptic imagery because it requires much more than a cursory reading, as each verse in Revelation is part of a vision and isolating verses from those visions to attempt to prove some type of pet doctrine does damage to the understanding of the book of Revelation.